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      Do you find it more difficult to breathe in the humidity of the summer, or frigid winter temperatures?

      When I was first diagnosed with IPF, I didn’t necessarily notice a difference in my breathing patterns as they pertained to weather. However, my second summer with my disease was 2017, and I started to feel a difference in my ability to breathe in the humidity and I am definitely noticing it this year. Not only do I find my shortness of breath increases in the heat, I also find that I fatigue a lot faster.

      Below are a couple of strategies that I adopted last year to help reduce my lungs’ exposure to the humidity, and keep me as cool as possible. I will be re-implementing them this year, and adding to the list based on others’ experiences. Do you have anything else you could add for helping PF patients keep cool in the humidity?

       

      • Drinking plenty of hydrating fluids: this may seem silly but if you’re like me, oftentimes I do not drink enough fluids in a day and this can contribute to my feeling overheated. Another thing I often forget is the importance of drinking fluids that will hydrate you as opposed to dehydrate you, such as coffee or caffeinated-based drinks. Water, Gatorade (if sugar isn’t bothersome to you) or fresh juices are a refreshing and hydrating option!
      • Pre-cooling your car: this strategy is so effective for me that I have considered paying extra money to install an automatic starter in my vehicle. The humidity is difficult enough on my lungs, but breathing in a vehicle that has been sitting outside in the heat all day is next to impossible. Thankfully, friends, family and colleagues have gotten in the habit of leaving ahead of me and starting my car to cool it down before I get there.
      • Be intentional about when you’re outside: when possible, choose to be outside during the early morning or evening on really humid days. This lessens your exposure to the peak temperatures of the day, including the mid-afternoon sun and humidity.

       

      I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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